April 5, 2018 / 9:49 AM / in 22 days

SGX asks Noble Group creditors to ensure fairness in restructuring plan

(Reuters) - Singapore Exchange’s regulatory arm on Thursday asked Noble Group’s senior creditors to assess the beleaguered commodity trader’s restructuring plans to “ensure parity in the treatment of all shareholders”.

The Singapore-listed trader is seeking a $3.4 billion debt restructuring which is critical for its survival. While it has the support of senior creditors holding 55 percent its debt for the restructuring deal, it is still short of the required 75 percent amid opposition from some bondholders and shareholders.

Under the restructuring proposal, Noble is seeking to halve its senior debt and hand over 70 percent of the restructured business to creditors, with existing equity holders’ combined stake diluted to about 10 percent.

Noble warned last month that it would begin insolvency proceedings if the debt restructuring was not approved.

It also said that shareholders who do not vote in favor of the proposal would not receive shares in the new company if the insolvency proceedings were to go through.

“How a shareholder votes on the primary restructuring should not have a bearing on whether he/she would be entitled to receive shares in the new company under the Alternative Restructuring,” the regulator said in its statement.

“SGX RegCo (Singapore Exchange Regulation) will not hesitate to register its concerns about the Alternative Restructuring - in its current form - with the relevant administrator to be appointed should Noble Group be placed in administration,” the regulatory body said.

Singapore’s investor lobby group Securities Investors Association welcomed the SGX move, saying it had been in discussion with SGX RegCo on this matter.

Reporting By Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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